[WE'RE FUCKED] Reading Rainbow cancelled

Posted by Sanjeev 
Sanjeev (Admin)
Discuss.

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
I had no idea that it was still running all this time. I used to love watching the show.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Bah... I always loved reading, but found RR to be a tremendous bore.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Way to keep the big picture in mind, Ben! ;)
The dude hosting it was blind anyway.
Captain, my visor detects that we are on a collision course with fun.
Sanjeev (Admin)
VF5SS Wrote:
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> Captain, my visor detects that we are on a
> collision course with illiterate youth.

Fixed. ;)
I've never watched much TNG outside of what SFdebris reviews. I know Geordi tended to grow eyes a lot.
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> VF5SS Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Captain, my visor detects that we are on a
> > collision course with illiterate youth.
>
> Fixed. ;)

I miss having Reading Rainbow, too, though I haven't seen it since I was in grade school. I remember being really surprised when I saw that article a few days ago that 1) it was still on and 2) that it was about to be canceled.

To a degree, I agree with NPR's assessment that the demise of the show reflects shifting values when it comes to reading, but it's something else, too. TV programming no longer holds the power over the new generation that it did over us. Kids are getting more of their entertainment from the computer than from TV. Whenever I assign a movie for my students, they usually watch it on their laptops. Rarely does a kid actually go out and rent a movie and watch it on a TV. Granted, they're university students, so access to a TV might be harder, but still.

Does this mean that kids aren't reading at all or that we're plunging into illiteracy? That's highly debatable. There are whole new fields opening up in the different ways people are going to be reading and learning from now on, so we can't measure reading solely by traditional means. (And a lot of the students I teach still read, even if it's crap like Harry Potter and Twilight.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2009 06:27PM by gingaio.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quite true. I was just being alarmist in a tongue-in-cheek sorta way.

I grew up with Reading Rainbow, but it really didn't influence my actual love or lack thereof of reading. I was a latch-key kid--I watched whatever was on! ;P

Anyway, I see fewer and fewer kids reading comic books (and, of course, the finacial woes of comic book publishers), and I think that is more telling about the future of literacy than the cancellation of Reading Rainbow.

Well, we'll see what happens...
Sad to hear. I watched some of that show in the 80s, ...but was usually too busy reading my Hardy Boys books to pay much attention, =0P

Darn kids today, they can only half understand "normal" English in printed form anyway, since it's not in "OMG< ROFL< KEWL" txt languange.....and how I love watching them walk into walls, and people, while engrossed in their doofy phone.


...Get OFF teh lawn!
Reading Rainbow's cancellation aside, some are saying that we're in the midst of a literacy revolution:

[science.slashdot.org]
Roger Wrote:
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> Reading Rainbow's cancellation aside, some are
> saying that we're in the midst of a literacy
> revolution:
>
> [science.slashdot.org]
> /Were-In-the-Midst-of-a-Literacy-Revolution?art_po
> s=1


I would agree with this. I teach students who have a below grade level 3 reading and comprehension levels. Yet, they use the internet in a mad quest to find music videos, anime and other things. The internet has shown itself to be a gateway with a challenging but attainable lock to pick and has increased literacy with our students noticeably.
[agonybooth.com]

LeVar Burton was all about double dipping
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Quite true. I was just being alarmist in a
> tongue-in-cheek sorta way.
>
> I grew up with Reading Rainbow, but it really
> didn't influence my actual love or lack thereof of
> reading. I was a latch-key kid--I watched whatever
> was on! ;P
>
> Anyway, I see fewer and fewer kids reading comic
> books (and, of course, the finacial woes of comic
> book publishers), and I think that is more telling
> about the future of literacy than the cancellation
> of Reading Rainbow.
>
> Well, we'll see what happens...

Eh, for me, comic books were always too expensive after a certain point. There was a time when it seemed like comics went from 50 cents a pop to over a buck practically overnight and that completely killed my comic buying habit. I could easily get my reading in via books at the local library without having to spend anything.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
Yeah, when I was first reading comics, they were around $1-1.25...and quickly ballooned in the early 90's to close to $3 in some cases. Bullshit.

But then again, most of my boys were still reading 'em...and none of us were visiting the library. :/

Anyway, I'm really skeptical about that article Roger linked. I'm not all pitchforks and torches about the internet and cell phones, but at the same time, I'm not convinced that article's legit.

Like, I get this part: "Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn't a school assignment." But at the same time, the Stanford study was of college students. I understand that most of us on this board are college-educated, but with tuition prices around $50k per year, I don't necessarily see this study as being a good cross section of society.

I mean, we may be predominantly college-educated on this board, but our generation grew up with stuff like Reading Rainbow. Isn't the point of this thread to talk about future generations?

So...I contend that kids today will be less likely to attend college when they get older. I may be wrong, but I base this off two things: 1) college will be stoopid-expensive by the time they're of age, and 2) the average earnings of college graduates has been dropping in recent times.

So does this suggest a trend that those who attend college are of higher and higher class background? You need more money to get in...and when you get out, you need to have stable (family) assets because you'll be earning less. If so, then interviewing college kids would NOT be a good cross section of society.

They should do this sort of study on high school kids--or even younger--of ALL class backgrounds to see the real effects of internet and cell phones.
repairtechjon Wrote:
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> it's not in "OMG< ROFL< KEWL" txt

"Oh my god less than rolling on floor laughing less than cool"

Did I get it right?
This is just purely observational, but it does seem that kids in this area at least are reading more than when I was a kid (I knew pretty much NOBODY who had any interest in reading outside of my own family), but I doubt it has anything to do with the Internet. It does seem to have a lot to do with the Harry Potter-led revolution in young adult and children's literature we see going on today. Some of the best fiction writing today is being generated in that realm. Books are far more in tune to the psyche of kids today than they were when I was a kid.

More serious than thou
mcfitch (Admin)
Quote

Some of the best fiction writing today is being generated in that realm. Books are far more in tune to the psyche of kids today than they were when I was a kid.

Uh hello, Judy Blume anyone?

Whatever, I never watched Reading Rainbow and like to read just fine. The world will go on.
-Mason

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Matthewalt &quot;I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!&quot;
Are You There God? It's Me, Mason.

I remember my bro watching R.R., but that was a little after my time. I can remember buying Avengers comics for $.50-.75, though. :(

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
mcfitch (Admin)
My first comic was Shogun Warriors #2 for $0.75. *sigh*
-Mason

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Matthewalt &quot;I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!&quot;
I think you paid a premium then, Mason! I'm fairly certain those were in the $.40 range when they came out. ;)

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Still ONLY 35c!

The price of comics today is killing me... I've totally but back. I won't buy miniseries (besides Iron Man stuff, because I am still a whore) until their in trade paperbacks, and am down to like three ongoings at the comic shop.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2009 04:19PM by Prometheum5.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I'm not gonna lie: I read most of my comics via bittorrented .cbz/.cbr files. I only pay for the books I really like. I look at it like listening to the radio: that's free...and if I happen to like something I come across, I'll buy the album.

Anyway, a buddy of mine who's a children's book writer tells me that that genre is HUGE...precisely because of what fujikuro mentioned: Harry fucking Potter.
mcfitch (Admin)
Hillsy, Doh! I meant $.35

Sanjeev, rationalize it how you want, but that's a big part of why comics cost more now.
-Mason

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Matthewalt &quot;I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!&quot;
Sanjeev (Admin)
Sure. But comics were selling in the $3+ range for a LONG time before bittorrent and other electronic pirating.

Anyway, I'm not trying to "rationalize" anything. I understand fully that it's illegal and arguably immoral. I was simply explaining the parameters under which I read comics.
Yeah, they got all pricey when they were doing 4 separate chromium cover variants. Then they went to digital coloring on better paper and made them look extry purty to justify KEEPING that price when the market tanked. I still buy some stuff...there's something about having a comic book in my hands. For most stuff, I either wait for the TPB or pick them up when they hit the discount bin.

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> repairtechjon Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > it's not in "OMG< ROFL< KEWL" txt
>
> "Oh my god less than rolling on floor laughing
> less than cool"
>
> Did I get it right?


Ding! It IS less than Kewl. Your No Prize is on the way. *boink* oops , just walked into a wall again whilst texting that...

So, .. who's gonna be better at Charades/Pictionary/Taboo/ etc. games now? The whippersnappers, or the old farts?
It's awesome that Harry Potter is motivating more young kids to read. However, it's not awesome that the books just perpetuate the same old elitist claptrap that helped keep royalty in control of societies for ages. Dare I say it, it's downright ANTI-AMERICAN.

(George Lucas is guilty of this too, but this thread about reading, not movies.)
Maybe they should all read Starship Troopers so they learn what it means to be a citizen.
>However, it's not awesome that the books just perpetuate the same old elitist >claptrap that helped keep royalty in control of societies for ages. Dare I say >it, it's downright ANTI-AMERICAN.

Rojyaa-san...please 'splain. I have neither read the books or seen any of the movies.

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
David Brin wrote an excellent editorial about the phenomenon when Star Wars: Episode 1 came out. Even if you don't read the whole article, the bullet points on the first page touch on some of what I believe:

[www.salon.com]

Even as a kid, I always thought the idea of the "born special hero" was pretty lame. I was never able to get into Harry Potter because of this, much as I tried. Someone encouraged me to read The Lightning Thief lately, which I felt was more of the same. Most fantasy heroes hinge on this concept, which is probably why I don't like any fantasy stories aside from Lord of the Rings.

I feel the same way about Ender's Game. (Wait until Matt reads this. ;p)
Roger Wrote:

> Even as a kid, I always thought the idea of the
> "born special hero" was pretty lame. I was never
> able to get into Harry Potter because of this,
> much as I tried.

I'm not going to try to convince you to like something you don't, but as a Potter nerd, I will point out that over the 4K pages of the story, Rowling puts plenty of emphasis on how Harry's choices were more important than his born-special status.

Also, without getting too into the plot, it's made clear that the only thing that singled him out as "the one" was a possible misinterpretation of a prophesy on the part of the bad guy. It could just as easily have been another character and that plays a part in the development of the characters/story. Harry wasn't born special. The actions of his mother and the bad guy put him in the position he was in.

Thank you


P.S. Fuck all y'all, I love Harry Potter and today is my birthday.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2009 11:38AM by Jake.
I guess I was ignorant of how the whole series bucks the trend, then. My personal experience with the series is limited to the first book and the first movie, which I didn't like too much, and everything I'd heard about the rest of the series seemed to back up what I believed. It's unlikely I'll give it a chance but I defer to your wizardly wisdom.

And Happy Birthday to Jake, who was born special!
Erik Sjoen (Admin)
The Joint Optical Reflective Display allows one to read a rainbow.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Roger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Even as a kid, I always thought the idea of the
> "born special hero" was pretty lame. I was never
> able to get into Harry Potter because of this...

I couldn't agree more with this. It's mostly why I never was that into Star Wars even growing up with the superior movies. Then, when Episode I came out (and I was dragged to it), I found the concept of mitochondria or whatever the motherfuck in your blood determining your Jedi-ness little more than Nazi-esque eugenics.

Anyway, I had the exact same reservations when I saw the first Harry Potter movie (which I didn't like much, either)...but I would suggest listening to Jake.

No, I haven't read any of the books (and certainly don't plan to), but you know Jennileen. If you think *I* am outspoken about racism, she's got class issues LOCKED the fuck down. She's read the whole Harry Potter series multiple times (well, she's a children's book writer, herself...so she kinda has to)...and she's said the EXACT same thing to me as Jake has about the series. At first, it looks like the whole classist/destiny crap...but I guess it evolves into more...
The first Star Wars (Episode 4) on its own isn't that bad with the born hero thing. Luke becomes a warrior by focusing his thoughts and feelings. There's nothing to indicate that anyone else in the movie can't accomplish what Luke does, they just haven't put their minds to it. Even Wedge. Hell, even Porkins, or Hammerhead, or R4-M9.

Maybe Episodes 5 and 6 don't hold to that standard, but when Episode 1 finally came around and they established the "virgin birth," it's pretty clear that Lucas is singing that old familiar song for us. BO-ring, but I guess there's only so much he could have done with the character, considering that we know that he's going to end up as a cyborg french fry.

I haven't read that David Brin article in 10 years. Love the part about Hitler's trial.

(I love to say to people, "Kid, I've driven from one end of New Jersey to the other I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything...")
Roger Wrote:
> It's awesome that Harry Potter is motivating more
> young kids to read. However, it's not awesome that
> the books just perpetuate the same old elitist
> claptrap that helped keep royalty in control of
> societies for ages. Dare I say it, it's downright
> ANTI-AMERICAN.

> Even as a kid, I always thought the idea of the
> "born special hero" was pretty lame. I was never
> able to get into Harry Potter because of this,
> much as I tried.

It's true that Harry Potter has essentially stumbled into being the saviour of his society for no good reason, but it's not because of his birth or his lineage; it's set up pretty early on that everyone thinks the reason he's the chosen one is because of something that happened to him as a child, not because of some innate quality believed to be given him since birth. On top of that, the books make a really agonizingly overdone point of portraying anyone who thinks one's family background justifies one's status in magical society as PURE EVIL. I'm not sure where you're getting this from - I'm a lot more bothered by the fact that Ron Weasley's family is a blatant poor Irish Catholic stereotype.

> I feel the same way about Ender's Game. (Wait
> until Matt reads this. ;p)

You kind of lost me here too. Ender is not a "born special hero" because he is not a hero. As far as I can tell, the only thing problematic about Ender's origin is that it suggests that the government could force select smart people to breed in order to make super-smart children to send into the military, but whether it constitutes an endorsement of eugenics is up in the air. In any case, the next few Ender books (the ones before Card started that "Shadow" series, which I haven't been able to bring myself to read) makes it pretty clear that what's really special about Ender is his life and actions after massacring the bugs.

> There's nothing to indicate that anyone else in
> the movie can't accomplish what Luke does, they
> just haven't put their minds to it. Even Wedge.
> Hell, even Porkins, or Hammerhead, or R4-M9.

R4-M9 couldn't. Droids are not people and have no soul.

> Maybe Episodes 5 and 6 don't hold to that
> standard, but when Episode 1 finally came around
> and they established the "virgin birth,"

That was a bunch of crap. But, there's this scene in Episode 3 where Palpatine has a word with Anakin at the opera, and basically gives away the game on that supposed "virgin birth" thing... which almost redeems it. If we'd seen Palpatine, say, intimate this information to Count Dooku in episode 1 as part of some instruction that Anakin needs to be kept alive for a while, but then there was a lot going on in the plot of episodes 2-3 that could've been developed earlier and more frequently. I was a little hurt realizing at the end of the prequel trilogy that there was at least one whole good movie in there, spread among the three of them.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Roger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> (I love to say to people, "Kid, I've driven from
> one end of New Jersey to the other I&#8217;ve seen a lot
> of strange stuff, but I&#8217;ve never seen anything to
> make me believe there's one all-powerful force
> controlling everything...")

Entropy.
I'm a few lost for words here...
I can still remember the 1st episode of Reading Rainbow that focused on Volcanoes. The book LeVar presented was called 'Hill of Fire'. I saw that in 1984.

After all those years...I never forgotten that experience. It was etched in my heart all this time. Public TV was a weird universe of its own. In its own way it was a counterculture to mainstream networks as we knew it like ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, TNT, HBO, etc.

PBS was bombarded with childrens shows, weird British shows like Dr. Who, & weird Canadian shows like Read All About It! & Today's Special & Calling All Safety Scouts were the stuff that what made the 80s so magical.

I grew up in the 80s as much as you all, and as it pains me to see that PBS is dying out the charm due to the radical new age era of political correctness as in baby-bopper program junk & boring, trite crap like Elmo & Barney & PBS Sprout & other crap.

We've witnessed the fall of great PBS shows like Wonderworks, Powerhouse, The Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact, The Adventures of Sherlock Jones (Not Holmes--Jones), OWL/TV, The Landscape of Geometry, Featherby's Fables, Yes, Inc., The Music Box, Tales from The Brothers Grimm, Newton's Apple, Wall Street Week, Mystery! hosted by Vincent Price, Square One TV...GOOD GOD SQUARE ONE TV!...

All those 80s shows from PBS...are dead now just like Sesame Street, just like Mr. Rogers' Neigborhood, now this one...Reading Rainbow..another casualty.

This is one of the most saddest things I've ever experienced personally and emotionally because Reading Rainbow is the last...THE LAST SURVIVOR of the 80s kids TV shows on PBS now becomes a faded memory. It's very tragic.

PBS is finally dead.

I'm sorry LeVar...I'm so sorry.

RZ-77
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